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Alanis Morissette Pens Essay On Having PPD for the Third Time

alanis morisette and family

alanis morisette and family

Postnatal depression affects more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth,  and Alanis Morissette knows it well because she dealt with it after giving birth to each of her children.

The You Outta Know singer opened up about experiencing PPD in her blog after giving birth to her third child, son Winter in August this year.

PPD symptoms can include a persistent feeling of sadness, lack of enjoyment and interest, fatigue, difficulty bonding with your baby and lack of concentration.

 

“I have been here before. I know there is another side. And the other side is greater than my PPD-riddled-temporarily-adjusted-brain could have ever imagined: as a mum. As an artist. As a friend. As a collaborator. As a leader. As a boss. As an activist,” Morissette wrote.

“I saw how things got richer after I came through it the last two times. I have my eye on that prize again… even as I drag my ass through the molasses.”

The Jagged Little Pill recording artist added that she has “so much more support” the third time around, explaining that she prepared “as much as she could beforehand” for the eventuality of suffering from PPD.

“Some parts of the care-prep have been a godsend, and well-planned. But for all of this preparation – PPD is still a sneaky monkey with a machete – working its way through my psyche and body and days and thoughts and bloodwork levels,” Morissette said.

In her opinion, Morisette said she did not think our culture is  “set up to honor women properly after birth” but acknowledges that there has been improvement.

“I see it changing, which is so heartening… but the general way is bereft of the honoring and tenderness and attunement and village-ness that postpartum deeply warrants,” she said.

“This is where the fabric of our culture, of our world, is crafted. On physical, emotional, neurobiological, chemical, spiritual, mental, existential, practical levels. Wouldn’t it be cool if we treated all postpartum mums and families with this awareness and hon our[?]”

Morissette finished her essay declaring that “We’re not alone.”

Morissette gave birth to her first child with rapper Mario “Souleye” Treadway in 2010, son Ever.

Their second child, a daughter called Onyx, was born in June 2016.

 

Things You Might Not Know About Postpartum Depression (INFOGRAPHIC)

Postpartum depression is something most mothers are aware of today, but in our own experience we’ve found that many women stay in a state of denial about Postpartum.

This could be due to the fact that Postpartum depression takes on many different forms from depression to anger to anxiety. The folks at Larkr, a new on-deman mental healthcare app, put together an infographic that you can see below with some interesting facts about Postpartum depression that may help clear things up.

If you or anyone you know may be suffering from Postpartum depression, Larkr’s network of licensed therapists are standing by to help.

Why New Moms Attempt Suicide A Year After Giving Birth

Depression, Hormones and societal expectations are among the common reasons women attempt suicide within the first year of  giving birth.

This summation of facts are among many eye -awakening revelations in a report about mental health and pregnancy in a recent Washington Post expose.

Author Michael Alison Chandler notes “mental health disorders are the most common complications of pregnancy, but just 15 percent of the women affected by postpartum depression seek professional help.”

She relays a few relatable examples of women who experienced mental breakdowns before, during and after pregnancy.

If you didn’t know how prevalent it is, know that “at least one in seven women experience anxiety or depression during pregnancy or in the first year after birth, making mental-health disorders the most common complication of pregnancy.”

Also illuminating:

About 80 percent of women experience “baby blues” within the first few weeks of child birth, often defined by mood swings and irritability or sadness.

Maternal depression is longer lasting and has more-severe symptoms, which can include anxiety, sleeplessness, extreme worry about the baby, feelings of hopelessness, and recurrent “intrusive thoughts” about hurting themselves or the baby.

Women are more likely to attempt suicide during the first year after childbirth than during any other time in their lives, and they tend to choose more lethal means.

These mood disorders are triggered by fluctuating hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, that ramp up during pregnancy and then drop off sharply after birth. Another significant hormonal shift occurs when women stop breast-feeding.

Researchers are trying to understand what predisposes some women to be more sensitive to these hormonal fluctuations.

It’s clear that environmental stressors play a role. The prevalence of depression is far higher for women who are poor or in abusive relationships or for women whose babies are born premature or disabled.

The good news is that medical practitioners are doing a better job at “screening for depression” and even lawmakers are beginning to look for solutions for expanding treatment options.

For example, last November, Congress passed the Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act as part of a large medical research funding bill to provide federal grants to states to create programs that screen and treat women for maternal depression. The bill had broad bipartisan support, but as usual with Congress, it is stalled on how to fund it.

According to the Post, the House also last week approved just $1 million of the $5 million originally allocated. The Senate has not voted on it yet.

Congresswoman Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts introduced the bill because she said many women struggle silently through what is supposed to be “the happiest time of their lives.”

“Moms have a lot of guilt about how they feel, so they don’t seek treatment,” she told the Post. “We want to reduce the stigma and increase awareness that this is highly treatable.”

Read the complete WashPo article here.